Document intercepted by Joy News has revealed that the Defence Ministry is saddled with debt to the tune of 206.43 million cedis.
According to the document which is coming from the Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence and Interior the debt was accumulated from feeding, utilities and other essentials during international peacekeeping duties.
Some Members of Parliament are dissatisfied, saying the development is not good for the image of the Defence Ministry, the sector responsible for the country’s Navy, Airforce and Army.
This situation was a great source of worry to members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence and Interior when the committee met the Defence Minister during an in-camera meeting today over budgetary estimation to the ministry.
Information gathered by Joy News’ parliamentary correspondent, Elton John Brobbey suggests that the ministry owes over USD 141,000 as overseas medical treatment.
It also owes: foreign training USD573,000; electricity 120.7 million cedis; water 19.4 million cedis; drugs over one million cedis; outstanding food bills 25.7 million cedis; petroleum products 33.1 million cedis; outstanding rent 1.4 million cedis; clothing for personnel 790,000 cedis.
Meanwhile, the Defence Minister Dr. Benjamin Kunbuor has told Parliament he is helpless in settling the debt. He called on the Finance Minister to release additional funding to his ministry.
The Defence Ministry was allocated 756 million cedis for 2016.
Seth Kwame Acheampong, Member of Parliament for Mpraeso, warned of dire consequence for the country if the Finance Minister does not come to the aid of the Defence Ministry.
He observed that the morale of the military is “declining”.
“When they (the military) come before you and you observe their body language, nobody will tell you that,” he explained to Joy News.
He said the nation should be worried about the development, more importantly when the country is going into an election year in 2016.
“Let’s take our military very serious,” he cautioned, noting that even gratuity to military personnel exiting is outstanding, making it difficult for new personnel to be recruited into the Ghana Armed Forces.
He also raised concern about the paltry 50,000 cedis that was given to prominent military installation like the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre.